District 203 issues statement regarding race incident at Central

Central Times staff

The following statement was issued to the media on Monday, Nov. 18 by Sinikka Mondini, executive director of communications for District 203, regarding an incident involving a racist online post made by a Naperville Central student last week:

Naperville 203 and Naperville Central High School are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students. As educators, we have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all students, especially those from marginalized and vulnerable student groups. Racial discrimination and hateful acts are never acceptable.

The NCHS administration recently became aware of a racially insensitive electronic post. NCHS administrators took swift and appropriate action steps to address this situation and the students involved.

As a District, we follow the principles of restorative practice to address and repair harm. When determining disciplinary consequences, we have to consider a myriad of factors that might not be apparent to the public. For example, Illinois Senate Bill 100, which is now state law, prevents public schools from using policies that require suspension or expulsion in response to particular student behaviors, such as “zero tolerance” policies, unless required by federal law or state code. In addition to appropriate consequences, we find that restorative practice is more effective for all parties. School administrators and school social workers identified follow-up supports for students involved and provided a space to promote healing for the larger student community. These steps are critical to the process and we firmly believe that this incident does not reflect the climate and culture of Naperville Central.